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The Shelswell Group of Parishes

The Shelswell Group of Parishes aims to bring people closer to God, and to show the love of Jesus Christ and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit to everyone

A church wedding in one of our village churches?

Everything you need to know

Getting married in church can make your wedding even more special. Making your vows in front of your family and friends, with centuries of history echoing around you, and in the presence of God adds a solemnity to the occasion, making it both memorable and meaningful. And by working together we ensure that your marriage service is unique to you, reflecting your story.

We have some lovely historic churches in the Shelswell Benefice as you can see on the back of this leaflet. St Mary and St Edburga’s in Stratton Audley is nearest to Stratton Court Barn, but they are all beautiful places in which to hold your marriage ceremony.

benefice mapWe would be delighted if you were to choose one for your wedding!
Do you have an existing connection one of our villages?
You can marry in one of our village churches if you can show that one of you: or - That one of your parents, at any time after you were born: or - That one of your parents or grandparents: But if you don’t have an existing connection, you can always create one – read on!

Establishing a connection to the village

If you cannot demonstrate any of the above connections, you could create one, simply by attending church services in the Benefice churches at least once a month for six consecutive months. If you decide to do this, you will need to leave enough time after your attendance for the banns to be read before your wedding – about another two months should be enough.

Alternatively, you could apply for a Common Licence, which is a Bishop's permission for a marriage to take place in a particular church, by one or both of you living in the Benefice for at least 15 days immediately preceding the date when the application for the Common Licence is made. A common licence is valid for a three month period.

Legal Requirements

There are added things to consider if:

A church wedding may well be possible, but if either of these two circumstances apply, you will need to discuss things further with the Rector.
Although same-sex marriage legislation has changed, it remains the case that it is not legally possible for same-sex couples to marry in the Church of England.

What next?

You can find out more about getting married in church from
If you would like to explore getting married in one of our churches, then please contact me on 01280 848192 (
We can sort out a time to meet and talk further!

Capacity of the churches in the Benefice:

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